I have missed a few posts is this month and the last month. However, I am part of another blog, Stories from IIT Bombay Mountaineering Club and I have been contributing to that blog as well.
While in IIT, we had started a whole movement called Himankan. The idea behind that movement was to introduce the IIT students to high altitude Himalayan Trekking. The first Himankan was organized in May 1981 in the Manali region. This was led by Vasudeo Gharpure and Chandrashekhar Datey. There were about 20 organizer and 200 participants.
Himankan 82 was organized in May 1982 in Pahalgam region. Sandeep Shah, Ajit Ranade & I were core group organizers. We had a team of 24 more organizers, 3 doctors and 5 cooks. There were 240 participants.
One of the organizers, Girish Dravid wrote a 22 page letter in Marathi to his mother describing the trek. That letter was a treasure trove. It was written to someone who had never done trekking and had never been to Kashmir. So it describes things very succinctly. It was also written when digital photography didn’t exist. So Girish had to resort to sketching stuff, and those sketches were really great. This letter was scanned and made available on the net to a Facebook group called Himankan.
Many people wanted to read it, but were handicapped because it was in Marathi. I volunteered to translate that letter in English. The job turned out to be a lot more work than I had imagined. I wanted to include all the original sketches in the letter and also wanted to keep the layout of the web pages as close to the original letter as possible. However, toughest part was to stay true to the original letter and not to let my personality take over the letter.
Now, over a period, of about five weeks, I have completed the job. I translated as much as I could, whenever I got time and published the whole letter in eight parts. I think it’s come pretty close to the original. If you find any errors, they are purely mine.
I am presenting this to all my readers because I think all of you would love it. Below are the links into individual parts of the letter. Each letter will open into a new window. I hope you would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it while I was writing.
Himankan 82 – Letter from Girish to his mother Beginning of the trek.
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part II At Chandanwadi.
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part III Sheshnag camp cancelled.
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part IV Problems at Pisu Top
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part V Back in Chandanwadi
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part VI At Liddarwat via Pahalgam and Aru
Letter from Girish to his mother–Part VII Liddarwat to Pahalgam. End of the trek
Story of Amarnath Legend behind the Amarnath cave formation